Did you ever think you isolated yourselves?

by dgp 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • dgp

    In another thread, started by Sacolton, some people who are out of the society have mentioned that they felt their being witnesses was some kind of license to be, in Sacolton's own words, like "having a license to be a complete douchebag to others? It did for me. I could automatically judge and condemn those who I didn't know and feel superior towards "worldly" people. This thread can be found here:


    Many people who have left the organization said they indeed felt so, while some others said they never mistreated any worldlies. Since I am not a witness, I asked how it could be that witnesses could fit the sincere and true love and affection shown to them by worldlies into their system of beliefs. I got different answers, and I know they were all true and well-meaning.

    Now, I want to post an excerpt from something I found. It's about the life of Frederick Douglass. The text can be found here:


    This excerpt is NOT aimed at those who left the society, nor those who are still in because they can't leave, or don't find the strength to leave, or whatever. This excerpt is aimed at those who are still in the Society, those who come to this site and read apostate material. It is meant to let them see themselves in a mirror, and decide by themselves whether thinking less of the worldlies is a correct thing. I want these people to think whether they are isolating themselves, and how. Whether they are right, or not.

    This is it. The story is about how Frederick Douglass managed to learn how to read. This is one of the obstacles he had to overcome.

    "I lived in Master Hugh’s family about seven years. During this time, I succeeded in learning to read and write. In accomplishing this, I was compelled to resort to various stratagems, had no regular teacher. My mistress, who had kindly commenced to instruct me, had, in compliance with the advice and direction of her husband, not only ceased to instruct, but had set her face against my being instructed by any one else. It is due, however, to my mistress to say of her, that she did not adopt this course of treatment immediately. She at first lacked the depravity indispensable to shutting me up in mental darkness. It was at least necessary for her to have some training in the exercise of irresponsible power, to make her equal to the task of treating me as though I were a brute.

    My mistress was, as I have said, a kind and tender-hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one human being ought to treat another. In entering upon the duties of a slave-holder, she did not seem to perceive that I sustained to her the relation of a mere chattel, and that former to treat me as a human being was not only wrong, but dangerously so. Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. There was no sorrow or suffering for which she had not a tear. She had bread for the hungry, clothes for the naked, and comfort for every mourner that came within her reach. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamb-like disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness. The first step in her downward course was in her ceasing to instruct me. She now commenced to practice her husband’s precepts. She finally became even more violent in her opposition than her husband himself. She was not satisfied with simply doing as well as he had commanded; she seemed anxious to do better. Nothing seemed to make her more angry than to see me with a newspaper. She seemed to think that here lay the danger. I have had her rush at me with a face made all up of fury, and snatch from me a newspaper, in a manner that fully revealed her apprehension. She was an apt woman; and a little experience soon demonstrated, to her satisfaction, that education and slavery were incompatible with each other.

    From this time I was most narrowly watched. If I was in a separate room any considerable length of time, I was sure to be suspected of having a book, and was at once called to give an account of myself. All this, however, was too late. The first step had been taken. Mistress, in teaching me the alphabet, had given me the inch, and no precaution could prevent me from taking the ell"

    May this help some of you, active witnesses, to "give you the inch". I hope to stir your hearts so you never stop wondering whether thinking less of the worldlies is correct.

    Information is NOT compatible with YOUR KIND OF SLAVERY.

  • snowbird

    Interesting - very, very interesting.

    From World Wide Words:

    In Old English, ell meant the arm, so that the elbow is the arm bend. There was even an saying give him an inch and he will take an ell; when the ell was replaced by the yard, the saying changed, too.


  • Meeting Junkie No More
    Meeting Junkie No More

    Well, I am mentally OUT now but I distinctly remember that one of the things that got me thinking very long and hard about the whole religion was having to sit through and listen to the speakers at the district convention actually berate worldly elderly people. I kid you not, some higher-up from Brooklyn went on and on about how worldy old people literally just rocked themselves to death on the front porch, while our "brothers and sisters" were vigorous and busy in Jah's service...

    At this time I remember thinking "What a horrible blanket generalization" - painting worldlies one way and elevating our 'brothers' and 'sisters'. Realized then that most of the talks are distinctly 'us' vs. 'them'. A real eye-opener. From then on I saw that the entire world is made up of good and bad, both within and outside of Watchtowerland, but its the labelling language that finally got to me and turned me away.

  • dgp

    I appreciate your posting in this thread. By the way, I do not mean to insult anyone, or to think any less of anyone. I just meant to say that, just as the woman was kind, but became a very different person by way of indoctrination, that happens to the Jehovah's witnesses who are in as well. I do not mean to see active witnesses as "depraved", but as people who have been very, very much misled, and, therefore, have lost humanity in the process.

  • parakeet

    dgp: some people who are out of the society have mentioned that they felt their being witnesses was some kind of license to be, in Sacolton's own words, like "having a license to be a complete douchebag to others?

    Since I was the most reluctant dub in the world, I never felt I had the right to treat unbelievers as inferior. Goodness knows I received enough of that kind of treatment from my parents, the elders, and the WTS.

    Excellent analogy with the Frederick Douglass quote. I'm putting that one in my archives.

  • dgp

    Thank you, parakeet.

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